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SciLifeLab The Svedberg seminar series 2013-11-04

Anne Ridley
Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics, King’s College London, New Hunt’s House, Guy’s Campus, London, UK

Anne Ridley is a leading scientist in the field of cell biology and cancer metastasis. She discovered the essential role of Rho GTPases in the assembly of focal adhesions and cytoskeletal remodelling. Some years ago, in honour of her contributions to the field, the British society for cell biology awarded her with the first Hooke medal.

“Rho GTPases: signalling in cell adhesion and migration”

In multicellular organisms, cells are constantly moving from one place to another. This cell migration is essential during development of the organism as well as maintenance of tis- sues in the adult. For example, cells of the immune system migrate out of the blood stream to fight infections and help repair wounds. Cell migration also contributes to the develop- ment of cancer. During cancer progression, cancer cells invade and migrate through the tissues and enter and then exit the blood stream to form secondary tumours, known as metastases. We are studying how cells change shape to attach to and migrate through their environment, with the long-term aim of identifying targets for therapeutic intervention in human disease. Our studies focus on signalling by Rho GTPases, which are intracellular signalling proteins that reg- ulate cytoskeletal dynamics and cell adhesion. I will describe how we have used RNAi screen- ing to identify specific Rho GTPases as well as their upstream regulators and downstream targets that are needed for leukocytes and cancer cells to interact with and migrate across en- dothelial cells. I will also discuss different ways to regulate the activities of Rho GTPases.

Host: Eleftheria Vasilaki

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